Pennsylvania Business Startup Guides
Opening a Business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Contemplating starting a business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania? We walk you through the process of opening a business in Lancaster.
What Business Are You Starting?
There are many businesses that you can start. How do you know which type of business is right for you? To help you decide on a business type, we encourage you to read Business Ideas That Don't Make Sense.
For in-depth how-to guides on how to start specific businesses, browse our Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Starting a Naturopathic Physician Practice guide or our How to Start a Wholesale Yarn Business guide.
Don't forget that your new business will be in Lancaster. Some businesses will do better in Lancaster than others. Make sure you fully understand Lancaster demographics before you lock in on your business idea.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania Demographic Information
Lancaster has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.
To give you a better feel for Lancaster demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Lancaster.
As a new Lancaster entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Lancaster for each business category. By looking at this chart, you can get a general sense for how much competition there is in the business niche that you are pursuing.
Have You Considered Buying an Existing Lancaster Business?
We've created a handy website page for those who want to Buy a Business in Pennsylvania. Follow that link and you can assess several good businesses for sale in Lancaster.
Before buying a business, be sure to read this article: Hold Harmless Agreements When Buying Businesses.
Forming a Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. The principal advantage of forming your new business as a legal entity is that it separates your business liabilities from your personal liabilities.
The entity you form can be a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.
Incorporating is a very popular way to form a business. A key decision is whether to form and S-Corp or a C-Corp, and you also must decide in which state you will incorporate. If you are starting a business in Pennsylvania, it doesn't mean you are required to incorporate in Pennsylvania. In fact, you are allowed to incorporate in the state of your choosing. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.
There are many nuances to forming a company. To learn the fundamentals of company formation, browse articles on our site, such as How to Incorporate. You should also consider getting professional assistance from your business lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, our information on Incorporating in Pennsylvania may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Pennsylvania.
Don't Forget to Create a Business Plan
A business plan is essential to the health of your new business. Simply put, your business plan is your game plan for how you hope to grow your business. Not having a business plan is a recipe for disaster.
If you want more information on writing business plans, we recommend reading Reasons to Write a Business Plan. You can also get free counseling sessions provided by your local SCORE chapter in Pennsylvania.
Promoting Your New Business
Whether your goal is to attract Lancaster customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your successs.
You can learn quite a bit about marketing on our site. Promoting an Online Business is a good read to get your marketing juices flowing. There are many more articles on marketing on our site. Visit our Small Business Marketing resource section to see them all.
Building Up Your Sales
Being able to sell is a key enabler to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Lancaster or are selling to customers throughout Pennsylvania, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.
Why should customers buy from you instead of buying from competitors? Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.
You have a dream -- starting a business in Lancaster. To achieve your dream, you have to persevere, even when the odds are against you.
If you choose the right business and love what you do, you will greatly increase your odds of success.
Our goal here is to promote the vitality and growth of small businesses in Lancaster and throughout the United States . We want to be there for you to answer your business questions, whether you are a new Lancaster entrepreneur who is just getting started or you are already up and running with your new venture.
More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Lancaster.
- Resources for Lancaster, Pennsylvania Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Lancaster entrepreneurs.
- Pennsylvania Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Pennsylvania.
- Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center - Pennsylvania SBDCs help aspiring entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses, help small firms expand, and provide the information every business person needs to make critical decisions. There is no charge for their assistance and their free help can make the difference between business success and failure.
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